Imagine yourself enjoying an idyllic day at the beach: You've been sitting out in the sun for hours and are starting to get a bit thirsty. Do you feel compelled to reach for a bottle of ice cold water from the Esky, or a sudden urge to shotgun the nearest bottle of SPF50+? If you answered the latter, I have some bad news for you, friend.
On March 14, the Iowa Attorney General's Office filed a consumer fraud lawsuit that claimed Osmosis Skincare and Harmonized Water — which is billed as "drinkable sunscreen" — is a "product seriously flawed" in testing. The suit, which was obtained by BuzzFeed, added that the flagrantly unsafe product "recklessly gave consumers hollow assurances that they were protected from known health hazards".
The man in charge of these dubious products is alleged medical doctor Ben Johnson. While Johnson is standing by his products — which he claims utilise "form radio frequencies called scalar waves" to protect users from UV rays — a cursory look at his record proves he's full of crap. According to BuzzFeed, in 1999, Johnson was reproached by the Colorado Medical Board for selling Viagra online, without performing any sort of exam first. In 2001, he surrendered his licence after two patients complained that his laser services had injured their faces — one was burned on the cheek and chin and the other suffered an infection on his face.
Also, this is a man who thought guzzling sunscreen was a good idea and that's really all you need to know about him.
"I think it is important to note that we have been selling this remarkable product for about 5 years," Johnson said in a statement to BuzzFeed. "We have had thousands of re-orders. Surely people understand that as a successful skincare company it would make no sense that we would sell people a fake sun protection water… and if we did, how long does one think those sales would last?"
While there's literally no scientific evidence to substantiate Johnson's claims that his scam water can protect the user from UV rays, that apparently hasn't stopped customers from paying several human dollars for the products and leaving five-star reviews on Amazon.
"It's crazy... But it really works!" One such review reads. While it is indeed crazy, the drinkable sunscreen most certainly does not work.
"It's flat-out dangerous to consumers to make them think without any proof that this water protects them from what we know is proven — potentially cancer-causing exposure to the sun," Iowa attorney general Tom Miller said in a statement.